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Xi tells attendees at Party school to focus on study

China Daily

Vice-President Xi Jinping on Saturday urged Party officials not to be distracted by other issues during their short stay this coming semester at the top Party school.

Teachers and students of the Party's education system interpreted Xi's remarks as meaning he expects students to focus on learning rather than taking advantage of a houseful of officials to create relationships, as has happened before.

Xi, who is also president of the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, told some 1,800 students and faculty members of the school that: "The learning time at Party school is often short."

He added: "Students should settle down, be undistracted and concentrate on learning and discussion."

Xi also asked students to constantly absorb new knowledge and stick to their studies in order to improve their leadership abilities.

Dubbed as a senior "think tank" that educates senior and middle-level officials, the top Party school trains many province- and city-level officials, as well as promising younger people.

According to figures from the school in 2010, it has trained over 60,000 officials since it resumed operations in 1977, and more than 2,500 county Party heads since 2000.

Its previous principals include the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong and President Hu Jintao.

Located near the Summer Palace in Beijing, the top Party school campus has facilities similar to that of a normal education institution. It facilitates students' two- to three-month study with a cafeteria, tennis court, swimming pool, hair salon and teahouse for interactions.

The "cradle" of officials, along with other Party schools at local levels, has been abused by some students in recent years.

School spokesman Luo Zongyi told the media last year that "a few cases" exist that a number of students were busy socializing and not working hard in classes.

Lin Zhe, a professor at the school, said some participants of the courses have a clear aim to build networks.

"Students need self-discipline and to supervise themselves during their stays," Lin said.

The top Party school and local ones have adopted policies to restore disciplines in recent years.

The Party school of Central China's Hubei province has required all students to eat in the school cafeteria and make public the names of those who did not do so regularly.

The school also records information of every person who visits.

And it asks every student to sign pledges not to accept gifts, not to play lottery games and not to treat each other with public resources, according to local media reports.

(China Daily 09/03/2012 page5)